Posted by Editoress on 05/5/10
I met Jen Fawcette almost a half year ago, and I was really inspired by her passion for cycling and her interest in trying anything once - as long as it had to do with cycling. We met at the Forest City Velodrome at a women's only clinic on the track in London.
Jen is a spin instructor, an avid cyclist, a charity ride participant and has now started a women's only road riding group for Toronto cyclists - CYKLfemmes.
After we had our experience at the track, she linked me up to her blog; full of cycling-related blog entries related to women's cycling, people and experiences, and I've been reading ever since.
It's nice to learn why cycling has inspired other people and I think C4W readers will find Jen's passion and love for cycling inspiring as well.
Number of years riding: 3rd season riding
Bike: 2009 BMC Pro Machine
Job: CYKL Assistant Manager and Indoor Cycling Coach
Her Claim to Fame: Hitting a speed bump and landing on her face, then having to walk around for a week or so with scabs that looked like an STI.
Female cyclist that inspires her the most: "All the ladies I ride with here in TO inspire me."
Famous cycling moment that inspires her the most: "My own - riding around the Cabot trail in the mist and fog"
C4W: You have a passion for cycling, obviously! Where does it come from?
What is it about cycling that gets to you, and why do you love it so much?
JF: Cycling is a lifestyle. It's how I get to work and back, it's how I workout, it's how I challenge myself mentally and physically, it's how I contribute to my community (through charity rides), it allows me to get away when I need to, it allows me to bring people together, it's what I plan my vacations around, and gives me a reason to eat lots of dessert. I have never done another sport that has fit into my life like cycling has.
C4W: Your work life and personal life revolve around cycling. Tell us about your involvement with the cycling community - how many roles do you play? What is a typical week like for you?
JF: My involvement in the cycling community in TO is to try, in my own little way, to support female cyclists. When I first started I found it hard to shop for women's cycling stuff. I knew nothing about bikes or the sport, which made walking into a bike shop a bit intimidating. So, two years ago when I was a newbie cyclist I started blogging about it. My blog has led me to chat with other women cyclists, explore TO's cycle shops, ride new routes in TO and beyond. I try to use my blog as an education tool for other cyclists. When I can I write ride reviews, post info on basic bike maintenance and where to shop for women's things, brands that I use and love, etc...All important things, but hard to figure out if you're new to the sport.
Beyond the blog, I teach three indoor cycling classes a week (spin is how I first was introduced to cycling) at CYKL. I also manage the CYKL studio. And as of May 5th will be running a women's only cycling group out of CYKL! Woot!
CYKL Spin Class
C4W: Tell us about this new women's only road cycling group - I saw the poster. When did you start this? Your group is OCA-sanctioned (Ontario Cycling Association)?
JF: The CYKLfemmes group is meant to be a causal women's road cycling group, that will start at CYKL every Wednesday evening at 6:30 pm. I love riding with guys, don't get me wrong, but sometimes it's just nice to hang with the ladies and learn from each other. It's OCA-sanctioned for insurance purposes, so it's a legit group. The group is a way to share our passion for cycling with our community.
C4W: What's the future look like you - what are some of your cycling goals?
What are some of your business goals?
JF: More adventures on my bike! My boyfriend and I are going to France next year to test our legs on some famous climbs in the Pyrenees. It's not going to be easy, but it will be amazing! Beyond that, I want to grow CYKLfemmes into the best women's group TO has to offer. Getting more women hooked on cycling as a sport and lifestyle is one of my goals.
Race to Conquer Cancer
Also I'm interested in trying my hand out at racing, maybe in the next year or two. I'll have to take a couple of skill development courses soon to do this!
And career wise I want to see a couple of more CYKL studios open in TO and then across Canada.
CYKL's general manager and owner (one of three owners) is a woman named Kim Donnelly. I admire and respect what she has created and believe she has a terrific vision for her indoor cycling studio. The use of the RealRyder bikes (which move below you and give you a great core workout) and her coaching style that is rooted in cycling makes for an effective and amazing workout. CYKL is taking indoor cycling to new heights.
Jen's new riding group - CYKLfemmes
Jen's job site
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